An Apple a Day vs All Apple All Day: (Apple's “Healthy” Pursuits)

Its the automation and the ecosystem is why I rely on my Apple Watch. I don't have to exclusively perform a task to keep tabs, it just does it for me.

Aaron Tilley writing for WSJ: Apple Plans iPhone Journaling App in Expansion of Health Initiatives

The software will compete in a category of so-called journaling apps, such as Day One, which lets users track and record their activities and thoughts. The new Apple product underscores the company’s growing interest in mental health.

I have owned the Apple Watch since the first version came out almost a decade ago. The Apple Watch was a good welcome since I had the habit of wearing one since I was 15. It started with wearing one for looking at time and getting irritated with a million notifications and of course getting delayed navigation prompts.

The watch has come a long way though and today I primarily wear it to track my health. I have been using it to track my well being including tracking my health, some important vitals and sleep.  Paired with Apple Fitness+ I haven't been to a gym (if you don't know me - I HATE GYM) in 2 years and I have been in the best possible health.

A couple of years back I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and extremely high cholesterol (260). My blood pressure at the time was a constant 140/110 and my doctor literally said that I was a ticking time bomb, ready to explode.  Walking 60 minutes, tracking 10K steps or turning vegan helped to a certain extent, but without keeping tabs on your vitals it was hard to track.

I have owned a Withings Blood Pressure Monitor for a couple of years now and have recently invested in a Withings Body Comp scale. I don't need to measure and pick up the phone and enter them. I just need to measure. My vitals gets tracked on a daily basis. Apple Fitness+ work outs gets tracked; I play squash two days a week and finally my sleep is tracked. Watching what you eat and keeping tabs on my vitals have helped bring my blood pressure down to normal, reduced my medication to half and have kicked my cholesterol to 202 (some more work still remains).  I share my vitals with my doctor as well, so he is aware of the progress I'm making at my end.

Point is, it is hard to remain health consistently. And Apple Watch has helped me immensely.  I wear this watch 24/7 and it only comes off when I need to charge it.

In one document describing the app, Apple said journaling is shown to improve mental and physical well-being. Much of Apple’s push into healthcare has been centered around the Apple Watch.

I won't be surprised. Journaling is not for me as my workout and work keeps me occupied and busy. However, I know people who benefit from this immensely.

Ecosystem is important

I have said this in the past and I will say it again - Apple has always played the long game and they believe in building an Ecosystem. Things work seamlessly when you buy into their Ecosystem including 3rd party vendor products. Their integrations are solid.

The new app follows a pattern in which Apple provides a platform for developers and often competes with them, including by building apps that have similar features to existing software and sometimes offering them free to users. Some software engineers have taken to calling the practice “sherlocking.” Many large companies, particularly in tech, have been accused of launching products that closely resemble those developed by smaller operators. It couldn’t be determined if Apple plans to charge for the app.

If apple approaches you to partner or acquire just do it. They are not longer the best Hardware company but also a good Software company.  

It is unfortunate to hear that Day One app may get sherlocked.  But keeping the Ecosystem in mind, I can understand why Apple would like to keep this within their walled garden. Apple is careful to put user privacy and security at the center of the design, and most or all of the user-tracking data the app uses will stay locally on each user's iPhone. And, from an integration perspective, Apple probably have more data about a user then anyone else right now - its a gold mine.

Apple’s app will have the ability to gather much more user data than Day One, providing access to text messages and phone calls, the documents show.


The Apple journaling app, code-named Jurassic, is designed to help users keep track of their daily lives, according to the documents describing the software. The app will analyze the users’ behavior to determine what a typical day is like, including how much time is spent at home compared with elsewhere, and whether a certain day included something outside the norm, according to the documents.

This is so important. Apple Watch reminds you to stand, practice mindfulness every once in a while and also warns you if you are in a very loud environment. It will be able to look at data to determine what a typical day looks like, with access to contacts, calendar, your locaiton, health, workouts, etc. Based on this it is in the best position to make recommendations to users about what they might want to journal about especially when it is able to detect behavior that is not your normal routine.  With already a lot of these moving parts in place, building something to track your mental health is the way forward.

Its the automation and the ecosystem is why I rely on my Apple Watch. I don't have to exclusively perform a task to keep tabs, it just does it for me.  

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Jamie Larson